Aug 16 2021
“Kelowna is at full capacity”
Photo: Cindy White
Evacuees move into West Kelowna Walmart parking lot
Emergency support services are struggling to find a place to house evacuees from the Mount Law and White Rock Lake wildfires, as tourism and fire season end at odds in central l ‘Okanagan.
Central Okanagan EOC director of emergency operations Brian Reardon told reporters on Monday that “Kelowna is at full capacity when it comes to hotel rooms.”
“We are exploring other options, including mass housing, but COVID-19 protocols are hampering our efforts in this regard, so we are looking further south and west of Kelowna,” he added.
The city of Penticton activated an evacuee center on Sunday evening and cots were placed on the ground at Mount Boucherie High School in West Kelowna.
About 1,000 people were displaced by the Mount Law fire in Glenrosa on Sunday night, adding to the thousands already out of their homes due to White Rock Lake along Westside Road.
Last week, the provincial government asked tourists to leave the northern Okanagan to make room for evacuees from large fires in the area.
Castanet News has asked West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran whether they are prepared to make similar statements.
The Walmart parking lot in West Kelowna is now filled with campers and RVs from Glenrosa residents.
An evacuee from the Sutherland Avenue Evacuee Reception Center told Castanet on Monday that there was a waiting list of more than 100 people for a hotel room in the Kelowna area.
Des Cots installed the Mont Boucherie high school on Sunday evening